Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/22/12

John Tortorella took pointed shots Sunday at the New Jersey Devils, accusing them of various uncalled infractions in the first three games of the Eastern Conference finals.

But Tortorella's team, the New York Rangers, had a recurring problem of their own throughout these playoffs resurface in a series-tying 4-1 loss Monday night in Newark.

The Rangers now have had seven opportunities to take a two-game lead in the first three rounds of the playoffs, and they have lost all seven games to Ottawa, Washington and New Jersey through Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, which are tied 2-2 entering Wednesday's fifth game.

"We had another good chance to be up two games in a series and we don't take advantage of that," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. "It was our start, right from the beginning of the game. Hank (goalie Henrik Lundqvist) has been there for us in the first periods to keep us in these games, and it's not acceptable... It's us, it's all about us."

The off-day between Games 3 and 4 was all about Tortorella, who took exception to Devils coach Peter DeBoer terming Ranger forward Brandon Prust's elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov -- which earned him a one-game suspension from the NHL -- "head-hunting, plain and simple." Tortorella mentioned hits by the Devils that he believed were worse than Prust's, and he also accused the Devils of embellishing injuries to draw penalties and of setting illegal "picks" to free up their shooters while on the power play.

"If we want to start discussing officials with the media, I have a long list here," Tortorella said. "There's some gamesmanship right there, huh?"

The sides had some chippy moments in Game 4 that bear monitoring going forward in the series, including Callahan and Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk exchanging sticks and/or punches to the groin areas, and Mike Rupp punching Devils goalie Martin Brodeur after a late play stoppage. The latter sequence resulted in Tortorella and DeBoer, who had called the Ranger coach's charges the previous day "comical," screaming at each other from their respective benches.

"I'm not going to answer any questions on that," Tortorella said.

"It's going to happen. It's a series," Callahan added. "We're playing each other every other night. There's going to be situations out there where we don't like each other and we're getting in each other's faces. That's playoff hockey."

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